From the Biodynamic Federation Demeter International, we would like to extend our warmest wishes: May you have a new year filled with joy, fruition, and resilience! This past year was exceptionally difficult for most of us, and we often had to show unprecedented resourcefulness to master all the challenges we faced. Helmy closed the editorial in December 2021 with the words that ‘as environmental stewards, the Federation must and will stand firmly in advocating, promoting, and applying biodynamic principles’.
We carry this promising message into this new year with the conviction that we need a paradigm shift in our food system: agriculture must no longer conflict with peoples’ and the planets’ needs. Rather, we must work with nature, respecting her limits, keeping in mind a holistic view that considers all the elements of the farm as part of a living organism. Biodynamic agriculture has this perspective at its heart, reminding the world that farming has the capacity to connect people with themselves, their community and the environment. Let us use the momentum that the beginning of each year instils in each and every one of us to contribute to a much-needed transformation towards truly sustainable agriculture.
Christoph Simpfendörfer & Alysoun Bolger, Executive Board of the Biodynamic Federation Demeter International
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Research into Suitable Substitutes for Biodynamic Preparations
A call for experiences with local substitutes
This year the Federation will begin a research project looking at the use of suitable substitutes for biodynamic preparations. Almost 100 years since Rudolf Steiner’s initial impulse, the changing socio-ecological context globally, as well as the growing presence of biodynamics in emerging regions, have brought new challenges for the availability and quality of biodynamic preparations. The Federation’s research project seeks to identify and understand in a coordinated way the experiences of local producers in using locally available substitutes for the preparations across diverse contexts. We hope that the research will inform concrete guidelines in the use of specific local and suitable substitutes for the biodynamic preparations.
There are already biodynamic practitioners across diverse contexts who are experimenting with native species as substitutes for the plant and animal components of the preparations. Vincent Geerts, a biodynamic producer and advisor based in the tropical regions of Mexico, has developed a very close relationship with native Valeriana. The difficulty of letting Valerian come to flower in tropical climates is well known, and despite having successfully cultivated Valeriana officinalis in his region, his perception was that its flowers were very fragile and lacking etheric strength.
Therefore, Vincent has undertaken a long process of Goethean observation and experimentation with native Valeriana edulis. This native Valeriana edulis grows at high altitudes (+2500m) and flowers in mid-July (summertime in Mexico). Vincent has developed a very close relationship with this native plant, and has observed strong results through the quality of the 507 BD preparation. So close is the bond that Vincent has developed with his local Valeriana that he has written some verses honoring the plant. Here I share an excerpt of this ode:
Valerian, you keep me attentive,
I have sought thee in the most auspicious times
To discover your flower,
I have gone in Spring
I have found discreet, tiny, only your long, lanceolate leaves,
emerging from the ground, were perceived
Giving me to understand that your life forces come from the depth of the soil,
propitious to welcome your roots.
I have gone there in autumn, when the rains decline and
and allow the herbaceous plants to bloom and
illuminate the cornfields and the banks of the roadsides
with their multitude of colors... and you...
O Valerian, to the rhythm of the autumn season
you give me to understand that your flowering cycle is over.
You are ready to return to the life of the
the depths of the Earth, when in the cold of winter
you give us permission to extract your perfumed roots.
Then I understood, your rhythm is different,
On the heights where you usually grow, you acquire other strengths.
In the summer, just before the heat wave,
you shine like a lady, you become a queen in these places.
You dress in different shades,
from immaculate white
to velvety deep purple.
We are in the initial stages of this research, identifying needs and collecting experiences worldwide in the use of local substitutes for making biodynamic preparations. We believe the quality and impact of this research will benefit greatly from including as many unique experiences and relationships of local biodynamic practitioners with their preparations as possible.
If you would like to share your experiences and/or collaborate on this research, contactPaz Bernaschina at: email@example.com.
Exchange circle of biodynamic trainers
During 2021, the Federation organized exchange circles among biodynamic trainers around the globe. The main aim of this pilot project was to create a network of collaboration, communication and learning among biodynamic trainers working in different contexts.
Throughout the year trainers met once a month to discuss their training approaches, challenges, learnings, and the constant adaptations they have to make when teaching biodynamics in different socio-cultural contexts, particularly during the uncertainties of COVID-19. One of the exchange circles drew on the experiences of trainers from Slovenia, Germany, Israel, Austria, Finland and the Netherlands, who shared their first-hand knowledge gained from their respective Introductory/Conversion courses on biodynamic agriculture.
One participant, Simone Helmle, from Germany, reflecting on the exchange circle, observed that establishing exchange circles, and developing collegial support across contexts, requires building trust, but that the work done within this small group of international trainers, over time, achieved that unifying effect. Simone believes that the different forms of collegial coaching and development discussions happening throughout the year enrich and contribute to improving the way trainers understand and approach their own teaching programs.
Simone reflected on the challenges of biodynamic training. “Giving information in training is easy. To look at biodynamics as part of one's biography, to train participants in perception, to work spiritually as part of the practical agricultural work, that is really challenging as a course leader. It's good to work with colleagues on these questions and to involve each other in our own work. There is a need to understand and approach biodynamic training as a path towards inner development.“
Simone finished with a final reflection after this year of participating in the exchange circle:
“No matter the place, or the format, and despite individuals' unique ways of teaching, there lies a unifying and strong force among biodynamic trainers for an agriculture for the well-being of human beings and the Earth. If we feel the power of our hearts around the globe and realise that we are connected and we can help each other, it no longer matters whether we have a lot of or a little experience, as we are in what is heart-level learning. Let us encourage each other to keep doing so and create the moments when we, as learning trainers, engage in new things and walk a path of learning that takes us further in knowledge and opens us to new, unfamiliar spaces".
This event is perfect for all interested and active in communicating about biodynamics and the Demeter brand in their country. We will present an overview of the supporting material and options from BFDI, and also look at how to communicate on biodynamics and the Demeter brand in our regions. There will be time for questions and discussion.
New GMOs - A worldwide overview Case studies & Cartagena Protocol
We invite you to have a look at our worldwide overview on new GMOs: click here to access the presentation!
The document shows the wide variety of regulations and legislations concerning GMOs and new GMOs worldwide through eleven case studies spanning from Japan over Switzerland to the United States. While some countries, such as Canada, the United States, and Japan have very loose rules on old and new GMOs, Switzerland or the European Union still have a quite strict regulatory framework despite a strong pro-GMO lobby. Many other countries, such as India, Brazil, or China have progressively weakened their legislation.
The regulations vary significantly, not only in the extent to which they represent weak or strong GMO restrictions, but also in what they regulate in the first place: for instance, some countries choose to distinguish rules depending on whether the GMO was imported or domestically produced, some countries regulate based on the GM process used, and some regulate on a product-by-product basis.
The GM mapping also introduces some basic information on the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity that was adopted in 2000. Signed by 170 member states, this document essentially regulates the cross-boundary transport of GMOs, tries to prevent harm to biological diversity, and sets out rules regarding human health risks related to GMOs.
Don't hesitate to contact us at any time if you wish to provide additional information to the document or if you have questions. Please beware that the regulatory situation concerning GMOs evolves rapidly in most countries. Therefore, this worldwide overview is meant as a living document.
Upcoming training session on AMR AMR Briefing paper to be published soon
The next training session will take place in early February on the topic of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and its connection to livestock systems. AMR, also called the ‘silent pandemic’ has been declared as one of the world’s top ten human health problems by the World Health Organization and is currently responsible for 700.000 deaths every year. We have been working on this issue area for the past few months and are excited to share and discuss some of the insights that we gained during our research.
The workshop goes hand in hand with the release of a new briefing paper AMR in the upcoming weeks. Among other things, we will explain what AMR is, how large-scale, industrial agriculture plays a crucial part in exacerbating the problem, but also show how biodynamic farming can provide solutions to avert AMR.
More information on the workshop and the briefing paper will follow soon, so stay alert on this! We look forward to sharing a fruitful workshop experience with you.
For more information, please contact Clara Behr at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Revision of EU Animal Welfare Legislation Contribution to the Public Consultation
The European Commission started to revise the EU legislation on animal welfare, aiming to improve the level of animal welfare in Europe in general. In the summer of 2021 a first public consultation was launched to gather input on the revision process. The Commission has now taken a further step and published a new public consultation before work starts on the legislative proposal expected to be published at the end of 2023.
The impact assessment carried out for the purposes of the revision process stressed several positive options for the future animal welfare legislation such as the prohibition of all mutilations (dehorning, tail-docking and beak trimming) or the systematic killing of one-day old male chicks. It also aims to prohibit the use of cages after the successful citizen's initiative to end the cage age. The possibility to create an animal welfare labelling
The Federation provided a detailed feedback to the consultation process encouraging the positive proposals but also stressing that to really improve animal welfare it is crucial to support local and regional slaughterhouses, as well as the development of organic slaughterhouses, and most importantly to facilitate the practice of on-farm slaughter and/or the use of mobile slaughterhouses.
The public consultation is open to everyone until January 21st: click here to access it. It takes the form of a questionnaire and offers the possibility at the end to add a more detailed feedback. Don't hesitate to send out your feedback and to use the Federation's contribution as an inspiration.
For more information, please contact Clara Behr at: email@example.com.
Changes to the Standard for 2022 January 26, 2022, 3 - 5 pm CET English January 27, 2022, 3 - 5 pm CET Spanish
The Federation is offering a training session of two hours on changes to the International Demeter Biodynamic Standard decided in 2021, valid as of January 2022.
Albrecht Benzing, Quality Manager at the Federation will lead you through the decisions of last year and will be prepared for your questions of clarification concerning the changes, as well as any other questions related to the Standards that you bring forward.
The session is aimed at the international standard and will not be able to answer questions about national amendments valid through national decisions. We will not be discussing standard changes for next year.
These sessions are open to all members, but please register in advance to reserve a place.
Let’s talk about packaging! Creation of an International Working Group
The question of food packaging is becoming more urgent especially in light of the current climate and environmental crisis. The Biodynamic Federation Standards Committee discussed this last autumn, with the suggestion that packaging of Demeter products is discussed in depth at the 2022 Members' Assembly.
To prepare for that meeting a small international working is being set up.
What should be the goal for packaging Demeter products that would ensure the best quality as well as meeting hygiene and environmental requirements?
Biodynamic farming is concerned with healing the earth. How does that fit with packaging that sometimes goes against this aim and adds to waste that cannot easily be integrated?
A lot of research work has already been carried out, and many companies have been hard at work developing environmentally friendly options. It would be important to integrate this into the group’s work.
The working group will:
Review the current packaging section in the Demeter standards.
Collate and share research and developments by manufacturers.
Report back to the Standards Committee with updates.
Prepare the discussion for the MA in 2022.
Please contact Richard Swann if you feel you can contribute, either through participating in the group or by offering useful information at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(This article was published in the December newsletter in the member country section - sorry!)
News from the Section
The Agricultural Conference goes online!
The Agricultural Conference will be held online from 2 to 5 February 2022!
The Agricultural Conference will be held online from 2 to 5 February 2022! This change has become necessary due to the current situation with the pandemic and the associated requirements affecting events and travel. We are now offering the varied programme of lectures and workshops on the topic of quality in biodynamic agriculture and food exclusively online.
What does biodynamic quality mean? How does it arise and develop? And how do we perceive it? We want to discuss these and many other questions together. We look forward to your registration and to meeting participants from all over the world at an inspiring conference!
We would highly recommend that you take part in the conference along with others from your local area, and use the online conference as a basis for local discussions. You may also come to the Goetheanum as a studio guest subject to the relevant conditions if you so wish.
Accessing knowledge and peer exchange through online offerings from the Section for Agriculture
The first online course on the learning platform “Deepen Biodynamics” on the subject of “Biodynamics and Anthroposophy” with the two experts Ueli Hurter and Jean-Michel Florin took place successfully in November/December 2021. The four-week course aims at deepening knowledge of the background of biodynamics and the connection to anthroposophy. The course was well received by the participants, as shown by some of the feedback: “Thoughtfully designed content and structure which bring a reflective and conscious learning experience”; “Breathable rhythm”; “The course really allowed me to deepen my knowledge and experience”; “Content is of a constant high quality. I really like what the two leaders brought to us: deep anthroposophy!”.
We are grateful for this first successful module and the experiences we were able to have. The learning platform “Deepen Biodynamics” on the website of the Section for Agriculture at the Goetheanum aims to provide an interesting and varied set of online courses on the subject of biodynamics.
We are pleased to announce that further online courses on the topics "Farm organism and perception" and "Nutrition and healthy food" are already planned for 2022. There will be more. Please save the date of the next scheduled course now: Online course “Farm organism and perception” with Lin Bautze and Jean-Michel Florin. To be held on May 2to15, Mondays and Wednesdays at 13.30 pm CET.
Two new staff members within the Agriculture Section
Research Associate in international research communication
I have been working in the Section for Agriculture since November 2021.
After my degree in agricultural sciences, my interest in international research topics and biodynamic agriculture led me to the Section for Agriculture.
I am fascinated by communication in different languages and through various channels, and the diverse range of media available to make research results accessible to a wide public.
In my role in research communication in the Section for Agriculture I would like to contribute to disseminating biodynamic research results in a form that is both scientifically correct and comprehensible to a professional public familiar with biodynamic agriculture as well as to the broader agrarian sector.
I am delighted to be able to work with an international network of scientists and in the team here. One of my aims is to create a communication strategy that gains credibility and acceptance for biodynamic research beyond the agricultural sector. It is especially important at present, when the scientific credibility of biodynamic agriculture is subject to severe criticism, that scientific facts and results are communicated to a public beyond the biodynamic movement as a means to counteract this argument.
Since December I have been working full-time in the Section for Agriculture, where I am responsible for coordination and administrative tasks as well as for finances.
After training as a bookseller, a degree in German studies and history and being self-employed as an editor and proof-reader for almost ten years, I am happy to be working in a very committed team once more and to be involved in the worldwide biodynamic movement.
Ever since growing up on a farm in eastern Switzerland I have been interested in how to farm sustainably and how we can treat nature with respect. I am now delighted to be in a position to work with these issues professionally.
I am looking forward to getting to know many of the Section's partners in order to maintain and expand the existing network. I am pleased to be the first point of contact for all your questions and to provide support. I look forward to our mutually rewarding and inspiring work together!
I would like to inform you about, and invite you to, the Symposium on Living Agriculture (Živé zemědělství) that will take place on the 4th and 5th March 2022 in The National Agricultural Museum in Prague, Czech Republic.
It will be the second year of this event and we are hoping it to be at least as much fun as the 2021 symposium was. The Symposium will be held in Czech, German and English languages and is open to anybody interested in the topics of organic and especially biodynamic agriculture and its healing potential for the soil, plants, animals and humans.
If you have any questions regarding this event or on any other events co-organized by Demeter CS, please do not hesitate to contact me, Jan Vavricka, at: email@example.com.
Share your Experience on Global Warming and Biodynamics!
Demeter France is working on an article about global warming and biodynamics. More precisely: to what extent does biodynamic agriculture help to overcome the effects of global warming? We are therefore looking for Demeter farmers who would like to share their experience of biodynamic agriculture in parallel with the problems linked to global warming issues.
If you would like to participate and share your experience with us, we would be happy to organize an exchange! Please contact our international communication officer Kawthar Bouzahzahat:firstname.lastname@example.org phone + 33 6 34 30 12 19.
Academic biodynamic courses in progress Heliopolis University in Egypt
Heliopolis University in Egypt established the Faculty of Organic Agriculture in 2018. To introduce the students to biodynamic agriculture, cooperation was started between Ueli Hurter from the Section of Agriculture at the Goetheanum, and the president of Heliopolis university Dr. Mohamed Yousri Hashim. In every semester the students experience a two week module on biodynamics at the Sekem farm. These modules take the students from the soil to plant and animal kingdom, to nutrition, economy and agroecology. For each module one expert designated by the Section takes the responsibility to develop a curriculum, teachers' guide, and material, and to introduce the subject to the Egyptian colleagues.
There is a whole group guiding and accompanying this adventure: Jasmin Peschke, Jean Michel Florin, Peter Kunz, Reto Ingold, Ueli Hurter. In the beginning the professors from Heliopolis had to learn the new approach just as the students but soon they started to deliver parts of the courses and now the first modules are taught by Heliopolis staff.
These six modules introduce biodynamic agriculture at an academic level. Until now the Section is creating and completing the curriculum. After finishing and having proven their feasibility the modules could be implemented also by other universities.
The students are totally happy and excited with this kind of learning. Most of them want to stay at the farm, when the course is finished, instead of returning to the university. Because at the farm “we experience real life”. “Here we see, touch and smell the soil and the plants, it is so different from learning by a lecture or from a power point presentation”, they say. There is a growing interest in studying organic agriculture in Egypt, not only for boys. The proportion is about 50% female and male students. In the past years there where around 20 new students every year, but this number has tripled this year!
Professor Dr. Hassan Abou Bakr, the “Egyptian father of biodynamics”, highly appreciates this time at the farm with the students. “Here we are not teachers and students, here we are all learners! Students can learn in these two weeks as much as in the whole semester or even more. They learn to live together, to work in a team and to be responsible for themselves. For many of the students, especially for the girls, it is the first time that they stay away from home and from their parents.” Hassan committed himself to conduct these courses with his colleagues every semester and train new teachers and teaching assistants.
Both the president of Heliopolis University and Helmy Abouleish, CEO of Sekem and president of the Federation see these courses as the real University. “We would like all students of all other faculties also to undergo such courses! This would reconnect them to nature and give them a good base for any profession. This is our vision of future learning.”
Living with the Seasons Biodynamic Higher Education with Glen Atkinson
We’re very excited to introduce Glen Atkinson’s (PhD) latest offering, shedding light on plant growth and the seasons through Rudolf Steiner’s lens.
A central feature of Dr Steiner’s teaching method is to appreciate that he can only tell us a very small part of a very large picture at any one time. It is our task to place all the pieces of these stories together, to reveal his view of the dynamic we see as Life.
Rudolf Steiner has given us a unique series of stories, outlining the unseen energies active in Nature, throughout the seasons of the year. These stories provide a framework of images through which we can deepen our appreciation of Nature, while finding a pathway to interact consciously with the positive and negative manifestations of these natural laws. These energy flows are occurring whether we can see them or not. Our challenge is to just see what is there, and find ways to utilise these free activities for the benefit of our land, plants and animals.
There are 3 central lectures that tell the same story. However, each uses a different language of images, as is Rudolf Steiner’s way. Our task is to overlay these stories on top of each other. This helps to clarify the overall story, while deepening each individual lecture.
The Three Central Lectures are:
Cosmic Workings in Earth and Man - Lecture 5, 31 October 1923.
Man as Symphony of the Creative Word - Lecture 7, 2nd November, 1923
Agriculture Course - Lecture 2, 10 June 1924 3.
Glen will be your travel guide through these three central lectures and overlay them into one cohesive story. We invite you to join Glen live for this online course over three 90 minute lectures in February 2022. Joining the sessions live will give you the opportunity to ask Glen questions directly. By purchasing this online course, you will also get access to the recordings.
Session dates are the 9th, 16th and 23rd February at 7pm
It will be beneficial to read or listen to the lectures before Glen’s sessions begin.
Glen Atkinson was born in Australia and after a joyful childhood on the coastline of South Queensland, he moved to New Zealand. His investigations into the deeper aspects of life began before he left school, with an active interest in astrology, and Eastern philosophy beginning soon after. While studying human responses to planetary alignments, Glen imagined a similar reaction was possible in animals and plants. He begun looking into this, and upon his move to New Zealand in 1976, he began working with Weleda NZ. This is a homeopathic pharmacy based on the work of Dr Rudolf Steiner, where many of these cosmic relationships had already been discovered.
This was the beginning of a lifelong commitment to the study of holistic principles inspired by the work of Dr Rudolf Steiner. His research has culminated in a range of homeopathic healing essences, based upon the biodynamic herbal preparations, launched in 1991, for influencing the soil and plant growth, along with all other forms of life.
Walter Rudert 24th September 1939 – 27th November 2021
"Walter accompanied Demeter International’s work from the early days of its foundation in 1997 and was a member of the international certification committee until 2014.
He contributed to the certification work in our committee with his broad experience from farming, advisory and inspection work in various countries; he was a pioneer and a genuine advocate for the biodynamic impulse.
We valued his always correct and very considered way of interacting during our regular meetings. He was a gentle person, always kind and with a smile."
In the name of the International Certification Committee and the Executive Board of the Biodynamic Federation Demeter International
Walter Rudert's life
Walter was born in Southern Germany on 24 September 1939. He was the first born of three and his father was an agricultural scientist. The family moved several times during his early years, but one of the early inspirations for his life’s work in farming was his grandfather’s farm, also in southern Germany, where Walter helped out from a young age.
At 14, he left school and started his first apprenticeship on a biodynamic farm, Talhof. He worked on a range of farms in Germany, both bio-dynamic and conventional, and also worked on a farm in Sweden. He obtained a higher national diploma in agricultural science. Walter also worked for three years as a geologist, and while he maintained a lifelong interest and deep knowledge of soils and rocks, his passion for farming led him to return to the profession.
In 1968 he visited his sister in England and on the way back stopped by Millfield Farm in East Grinstead, Sussex, and was promptly offered a job there. He remained in England for the rest of his life. He met his wife Elli at Millfield, and in 1969 they married and moved to Tablehurst Farm in Forest Row, which was part of Emerson College. Their only daughter Christiane was also born in 1969.
Walter was the pioneering farmer at Tablehurst, one of the first biodynamic farms in the country. Walter not only developed the farm, but also worked with many apprentices and taught courses and practical sessions for the agriculture course students at Emerson College.
In 1991 Walter’s wife Elli died, and in 1995, suffering from a bad back, he left Tablehurst. In 1995 he married Nadya, and in 1996 he began to work as an inspector for Demeter UK, travelling all over the country to certify farms, gardens and businesses and also to other countries for Demeter International, for example to India to certify biodynamic tea. He continued the inspection work until his retirement in 2012. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Biodynamic Association of the UK in 2012.
He is remembered for his deep knowledge, practical mindset and dedication to his profession, and for his care, patience and good humour. His wide interests included beekeeping, history, geography, religion, literature and art, and he loved to travel and explore. He travelled to Africa, India, China, Australia, New Zealand and all over Europe. Walter died peacefully in his sleep on 27 November 2021 after a long illness.
Christiane Rudert, Daughter of Walter Rudert
Nutrition for Growth Summit 2021 What growth, and for whom?
The Nutrition for Growth Summit 2021 was a continuation of business-as-usual: the neoliberal capture of Summits to promote Western-led and finance-focused pseudo-solutions.
The N4G Summit comes at a crucial time, as we are halfway through the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition, with merely 4 years remaining to achieve the World Health Assembly nutrition targets, and just 9 years to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that are part of the UN’s Agenda 2030 - including SDG 2, which aims for “zero hunger.” According to the World Health Organisation, over 3 million children die from malnutrition every year, and the N4G Summit organisers have warned that the current number of one in three people suffering from malnutrition might even worsen to one in two over the next few years. Malnutrition is a human tragedy and has detrimental long-term social effects.
Although some speakers mentioned relevant causes of malnutrition, including inadequate access to clean water and stable food sources, these were not followed up on with commitments to social protection regulations or policy directions. Without delineating a policy pathway, numbers are meaningless and illusory; this should never be the case when we talk about people’s quite literal livelihoods and survival.
Finance and monetary support were at the heart of the nutrition vision and commitment-making of this Summit. The Summit organizers stated that “not enough is being invested and the need could not be more urgent.” Throughout the Summit, various financial tools were presented, such as the World Bank’s Sustainable Development Bonds and finance-related stakeholder commitments were praised especially highly.
We must be wary of the false premise that pumping money into an inadequate system will somehow solve the very system that has caused the current situation. We must make renewed political demands against a system that privileges economic interest over people’s needs, and we must continue to promote an alternative vision of our food and nutrition system.
For an overview of political developments and key moments in the nutrition and health sector since 2010, please click here. SDG 2 – Zero Hunger: End hunger, achieve food security, and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
For any questions, please feel free to contact Helene Schmutzler at: email@example.com.
Biofach 2022 without BFDI
After a long period of waiting, and hoping that we would be able to meet physically at Biofach, the decision has now been taken by the Demeter and Bioland associations that participation in February 2022 is not feasible.
We have already informed our co-exhibitors of this. A postponement of the fair to the end of July (26 to 29) is being considered. We very much hope that the situation will ease and that we will then be able to keep the date.
Biodynamic Association Certification is seeking a Demeter and Organic Certification Manager
The Biodynamic Association is unique among UK accredited organic certification bodies in that we certify both biodynamic farming and food to Demeter standards, and organic farming and food to organic standards. We pride ourselves on being a small team which is committed to building personal, long-lasting relationships with our licensees, whilst providing a professional and responsive certification service.
We are now looking for a bright, energetic, and ambitious person, who shares our passion for biodynamic and organic food and farming to manage our certification team as we move forward and grow the business post-Brexit. Our successful candidate will relish the detail of certification, have great attention for quality management and the ability to ensure that the organic and biodynamic principles that inspire our licensees inform all aspects of certification.
Our ideal candidate will have the following:
Right to work in the UK and be able to converse fluently in English
Practical knowledge of biodynamic/organic food or farming
Understanding of the principles of biodynamic and organic agriculture
Skills in quality assurance, small team management, communication and leadership
A degree or similar qualification in a relevant field
IT skills (Microsoft Office at a minimum, database and website management are desirable)
A sense of humour!
The job entails:
Overseeing the day-to-day certification of Demeter and organic licensees
Liaising with and reporting to the Certification Board
Managing the budget, keeping oversight of the finances
Maintaining UKAS (UK Accreditation Service) accreditation to ISO 17065/2012 as an organic certification body
Developing quality management systems
Coordinating the development of standards
Collaborating with other organic and biodynamic organisations (Biodynamic Association, UK Organic Certifiers Group, UK Certification Bodies Technical Working Group, Demeter International, IFOAM UK, Irish Organic Association)
Maintaining good, responsive working relationships with DEFRA
Acting as a spokesperson for biodynamic and organic agriculture and certification.
As this is a position that actively works with several different areas of regulation, it is expected that the Certification Manager will possess or develop a thorough understanding of relevant UK, EU and International regulations and standards (ISO 17065/2012, EU and UK Organic Regulations 834/2007, 889/2008, 2018/848, Demeter International Standards and Quality Manual).
This is a full-time position based in our office in Stroud. The Certification Manager must be willing to travel to attend organic and Demeter meetings in the UK and Europe.
Salary: £29 - £32k depending on experience (a pension scheme is also available)
To apply for this post please send a CV and covering letter demonstrating what you could bring to this role to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline 7th February 2022.
More news from the Federation on our websiteand social media:
Thanks to all our readers and authors for their interest. The next newsletter will be published in February 2022. If you would like to submit any articles, please send your contributions to: email@example.com.